Petra Power – Avoid Getting Caught Out by the Hype


You may recognise the picture associated with this blog… it’s a famous sight.

I’m not sure when I first saw this image but it might have been whilst watching the 1989 movieĀ Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. Or maybe in the travel section of the Sunday newspapers.

The photo shows the dramatic red sandstone of a narrow gorge known as the Siq. It is the tourist gateway to the ancient rock-cut city of Petra in Jordan.

A wide path leads visitors to this point and becomes thinner as the rocks appear to close in on you. The rising morning light strikes through the gap and releases the vibrant reds, oranges, whites and browns you see in the picture.

It creates a stunning atmosphere. I remember walking through this gorge very slowly, taking in every step. I knew what was coming and just wanted to savour this space before it became awash with coach loads of tourists.

The winding route hides the city from you until the very last moment. The same way the path to Machu Picchu only reveals the ancient site with its final steps to the Sun Gate.

And just when you wonder when the Siq will end, it does. And your jaw drops as you gaze upon the most photographed sight in Petra – The Treasury.

Carved into the red rock of the “Rose City”, this building is so impressive. Two full storeys high, it displays elaborate detail and majestic columns. Most tourists just take a quick picture and move on. I just stood, looked up and gawped in amazement.

Petra is worth the hype.

You hear so much about it. Read so much about it. People rave about it.

That happens with other places, too. Only they’re not in the same league. Petra is right up there as one of the wonders of the world.

It’s up there with Machu Picchu in Peru. It’s up there with the Taj Mahal in India. It’s up there with Ayers Rock in Australia.

A bit like a product by Apple, you just have to experience it to know it’s something cool. Something special.

Marketing such places must be a doddle. You could almost just say “Here it is, look at the photos. Wouldn’t you want to stand here and be taking your own?”

No need for hype.

Something that’s still quite common in poor quality marketing today.

I’m not sure whether it’s because the product or service is not very good, or whether it’s just a “shout-it-loud” culture that prevails. Whatever the reason, hype (or over-hype) doesn’t come across very well.

It’s obvious. It looks like you’re trying too hard. It suggests you think the reader is stupid.

So, before you start marketing, make sure your product or service is really good. The best it can be.

That way it’s easier to get your message across – without having to shout.

It doesn’t mean you cannot use a strong angle, powerful language or make big claims. Quite the reverse. Your words simply need to match up with the mindset and thinking of your prospects, customers and clients.

Using hype to hide behind a poor product or sub-standard service is not the answer.

At some point you will get found out.

How can you add some “Petra power” to your offering?

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